2022 Endocrine Society Advocacy Year-in-Review

The Endocrine Society advocates on behalf of our members, the patients they treat, and the science they research. This year, in addition to continuing our virtual advocacy, we had the opportunity to reintroduce several in-person advocacy activities.

With help from our members, we successfully advocated for our policy priorities and raised awareness of the value of endocrinology and endocrine research.

Let’s review some of our advocacy wins from this year.

Historic Insulin Legislation

In August, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which included several measures that would make insulin more affordable. Most notably, the law will institute a $35/month cap on out-of-pocket costs of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2023. The law’s passage is the result of years of Endocrine Society advocacy to make insulin more affordable. We provided recommendations to policymakers on policy options; we worked with representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle to find consensus; we shared patient stories with congressional offices; we conducted congressional briefings to educate policymakers; we testified before Congress; and we conducted Hill Days with our members. This outcome could not have been achieved without the help of our Society members and we thank them for their work to make insulin more affordable. We will continue to urge Congress to pass a $35/month cap on insulin for people with private insurance, so that all Americans with diabetes have access to this lifesaving drug.

With help from our members, we successfully advocated for our policy priorities and raised awareness of the value of endocrinology and endocrine research.

Increasing NIH Funding

We successfully advocated for funding increases of over $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that were incorporated into the House and Senate versions of fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding legislation. Although the legislation has not been finalized as of this writing, we successfully educated many congressional offices about the importance of funding endocrine research. We shared testimony with the House and Senate explaining why increased NIH funding is essential for propelling endocrine research forward. We joined with other medical and scientific organizations to participate in the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, which took place in person, to tell Congress why continuing resolutions harm public health. We have, and will continue to, call on our members to participate in our online campaign urging Congress to pass a final funding bill with an increase for NIH as soon as possible.

Telehealth Expansion

The Endocrine Society secured a victory this year in our effort to expand access to the telehealth services that our members provide. The House of Representatives passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act, which provides a two-year extension of the telehealth waivers put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The legislation, which passed overwhelmingly in the House, includes two-year extensions of audio-only services and a continued relaxation of the originating site requirement rule ensuring that patients can receive telehealth from home. This win was the result of Society advocacy, including Hill Days and meetings with congressional leaders. We applaud the House for taking action, but the Senate still needs to act on this important legislation. We will continue to advocate for this issue and will keep you updated as this process moves forward.

EDC Advocacy in the European Union

Throughout the past year, the Endocrine Society has been a leader advocating for better regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the European Union. The Endocrine Society has a seat on an advisory body to the European Commission concerning the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS). In May, Society member Anne-Simone Parent, MD, PhD represented the Society at a meeting in Brussels to encourage the Commission and EU institutions to move quickly to develop effective legislative proposals that reduce exposure to EDCs as part of the CSS. Following the meeting, the Commission proposed a new hazard class for EDCs in the regulation on Classification, Labeling, and Packaging (CLP). The hazard class includes multiple categories of EDCs depending on the strength of the available evidence, which was in alignment with the recommendations that we provided to the Commission. We recently received accreditation from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which positions us to give input on EDCs in the development of an international legally binding treaty on plastic pollution.

PFAS Regulation

This year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the most prevalent PFAS chemicals, which are endocrine disruptors, to the toxic release inventory. This inventory helps the EPA track potential sources of toxic exposures and to hold polluters accountable. The Endocrine Society provided feedback on a strategic plan for Federal coordination of PFAS research and development, and this proposed rule was in line with our recommendation to hold polluters accountable. There are over 9,000 known PFAS compounds, and this rule only recognizes two of them as hazardous. The Endocrine Society will continue to advocate for regulating PFAS as a class of chemicals given the known toxicity and prevalence of chemicals with similar structures and activity.

The Endocrine Society provided feedback on a strategic plan for Federal coordination of PFAS research and development, and this proposed rule was in line with our recommendation to hold polluters accountable.

Transgender Health

The Endocrine Society continues to be the voice of science in discussions about transgender health and treatment for gender dysphoria. In October, the Endocrine Society was featured on an episode of “The Problem with Jon Stewart” that focused on access to gender-affirming care. Stewart interviewed Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline author Josh Safer, MD, to discuss the importance of gender-affirming care for minors. On the judicial front, the Endocrine Society continues to be a “friend of the court” in cases on the state level that challenges anti-trans laws or laws that criminalize gender-affirming care. We provide the court with medical evidence about what it means to be transgender and what gender-affirming care is.

As you can see, Endocrine Society advocacy really does influence the policies affecting endocrine-related research and practice. This year’s successes would not have been possible without our members’ participation. Meeting with your elected representative, participating in an online campaign, and amplifying our message on Twitter really makes a difference. We appreciate your work this year and look forward to continued success in 2023.

You may also like

  • Advocacy Update: February 2024

    Federal Funding for SDP, NIH in Jeopardy As the February issue of Endocrine News went to press, the government had only days to fund the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before funding expired.  It was expected that Congress would pass another short-term funding bill that would fund these programs…

  • Endocrine Society Recommends Bipartisan Solutions to Senate HELP Hearing on Diabetes, Obesity

    The Endocrine Society commends the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for calling attention to the issues that are fueling the diabetes epidemic in its December 14’s hearing and urges the Committee to support bipartisan legislation to begin to address the crisis in our country. More than 38 million Americans have diabetes, and…

Find more in